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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Finding the Path

Soon after Bruce Harreld was selected as president of the University of Iowa in September 2015, there was some talk of him being akin to Professor Harold Hill — the con-man hero in Meredith Willson’s famous musical, “The Music Man.”A former IBM executive whose experience was in strategic planning rather than in university administration, Harreld was dismissed readily by many on campus as, in Willson’s words, “a flim-flam man” who “doesn’t know the territory.”The negative reaction to Harreld was inflamed further by the failures of the Iowa Board of Regents to keep its search process open and transparent. Harreld’s unanimous selection by the board was thought to be the result of behind-the-scenes manipulations of Bruce Rastetter, the agribusinessman who served as regent president until earlier this year.

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